Curious to Know More about this ?
We read, learn or explore to quench our curiosity.
“Curiosity is an extremely important 21st century skill” – Says the founder of this Indian Startup.
I was curious to know about this EduTech India Startup. When brands are brainstorming and strategizing plans to increase the ‘likes’; this startup attracted the likes of YouTube to invest in them.
Why would YouTube invest in a startup ?
I checked the YouTube subscription base (as on 22nd Sep, 2019) of the World’s top universities.
Stanford University : 982k
Oxford University : 171k
MIT : 506k
Harvard University : 995k
Cambridge University : 171k
My curiosity level went up & did a similar check of the leading edutech platforms.
Coursera : 122k
Udacity : 391k
Byju’s : 809k
The curious blogger in me finally managed to connect with this edutech startup and got to do an exclusive interview of Ganesh Pai, the founder of Don’t Memorise, right after the euphoric news of YouTube investment.
3 things helped me to strike an instant chord with Ganesh.
– The passion for teaching. The same passion with which my mother used to teach kids in my hometown. I was fortunate to grow up seeing and listening to those classes, the good old ‘offline’ classes.
– The location of the Startup: Thane, Maharashtra, India. The place where I spent 14 years of my ‘Aamchi Mumbai’ days.
– Finally, the love for football
and that too Chelsea FC fan. I was like .. You are also a Chelsea fan? This couldn’t have gone better & the interview questions were kept aside for the next 2-3 minutes. We discussed the current situation of Chelsea: Lampard as the manager , the transfer ban, the upcoming games and the old days when Ranieri used to be the manager.
We had to quickly come back to discussing about Don’t Memorise.
The interview was filled with surprises for me :-
What is your current subscriber base on YouTube ?
We are managing to grow slowly and steadily , said Ganesh with a modest smile.
Currently we have 790k subscribers on YouTube & our 2 month old hindi channel has garnered close to 3k.
Whose idea is behind this ?
I always wanted to teach. I quit my corporate job in 2012 and was working part time for Tutor Vista teaching Maths online. That is when this idea struck me. I thought of starting something on my own.
Who inspired you to start Don’t memorise ?
One evening, I shared the thought process of starting something on my own with dad. He asked me to come with him on an early morning walk the next day to have the ‘talk’.
I shared my thought of teaching at least 100+ students.
But my dad said No for this and asked me ‘why just 100, why not a million students?’.
This was the tipping point to get going with Don’t Memorise.
How old is your brand now ?
Just 5 years old. We started in 2014 and the initial 2-3 years were similar to a toddler running around and exploring stuffs. It is in the last 3 years that our learning curve has gone up drastically.
How has been the journey so far ?
Very interesting indeed.
The first year , we had 300 subscribers. It grew to 1500 the subsequent year. A great 400% growth was the only positive thing we could see in those numbers. But it was nothing when you look at it from a CEO perspective.
But the 3rd year our base increased to 1,50,000. This is when we realised that there is great potential and acceptability for Don’t Memorise. We have not looked back after that and it has been a steady growth for us.
Is there any fees involved in the learning ?
Nothing at all. Anyone can login to Don’t Memorise & start watching our videos. It is free for all.
What are your current offerings ?
We have videos for middle school and high school students. In addition to that Don’t Memorise also offers Test Prep materials for GMAT, GRE, SAT, etc.
Don’t Memorise can be used by Students to review concepts, Parents to refresh their knowledge and even teachers who ‘flip’ their classrooms.
Are you happy with the progress of Don’t Memorise till now ?
Extremely happy. Touchwood it has got ‘fans’ from across the globe.
Now with the recent launch of our videos in Hindi, we hope to reach out and support more users.
We have also launched our new series of videos under ‘Kyu Box’ for the ‘Kyurious‘ minds.
Do you offer customised solutions?
There are lot of brands out there using our services. We provide white label content for many education platforms.
Aside from creating educational resources, Don’t Memorise can be found helping students resolve specific problems on www.socratic.org.
Thousands of students from over 120+ countries have had their learning supported by Don’t Memorise to date.
What are your future plans in regard with the numbers ?
I wanted to teach 100 kids. My dad pushed me to teach a million kids. Currently, as we speak, if I consider YouTube, Don’t Memorise website and Udemy where we have some course materials, the total views are approximately 70 Million.
Now with all the stakeholders support, we want to reach out to a billion students. It is not an easy target but we’ve come a long way & want to continue with this learning expedition.
It was a great interview I had with Ganesh to understand the idea behind Don’t Memorise and their growth story.
Ganesh has also got associated with Ted-Ed as an educator to create 2 of their animated ‘lessons worth sharing’ & one of which has garnered over 3 million views.
I could understand that the key reason for YouTube to invest in Don’t Memorise is because of the quality and simplicity of the content.
YouTube also acknowledges the fact that online learning is growing at a tremendous pace.
Edutech 2019 & startups focusing on that will be one of the leading stories of this year.
Don’t Memorise also won the ‘The Edupreneur Village : The Final Battle’ – where they competed against 11 other startups and got the highest recognition.
Content can do wonders. Marketing helps you to tell the world that you have a wonderful product but Content shows the World that you actually have an awesome product. Don’t Memorise till now have spent close to zero money on Marketing.
Amazing to know that a small company sitting in one corner of Thane is busy with bringing out great content and competing against the best in the world.
When parents are struggling to keep the gadgets away from the kids and restrict the screentime, platforms like Don’t Memorise can be a sort of savior to make sure that there is some learning happening always.
Any guess in regard with the number of people working with Don’t Memorise ?
I was left in awe. The team size of Don’t Memorise is just meagre 15 employees and some interns. The office size of Dont Memorise from a Mumbai person’s perspective will be similar to a lavish 2 BHK :).
I figured out that there are online edutech platforms like Khan Academy (joined YouTube in 2006) with 5.07 Million subscribers. I think this is something which can now be targeted by Ganesh.
Going forward, Universities and other educational institutions will have a tough competition from these Online EduTech companies.
Ganesh believes that it is all about the attitude. Skills and knowledge can be imparted but attitude is the key to success. One of the current leading animators working in Don’t Memorise is the son of their family cook , who didn’t have any knowledge about computer but had a great attitude.
Indeed a great Attitude & the Curiosity to learn or question things will take you to places you wouldn’t have dreamt of ever.
“Don’t Memorise, Know More!” aptly shows the world that size doesn’t matter.
It is important to ace the PAC Man game. Passion, Attitude and Curiousness.
This is part of the featured interviews under ‘VJCV’s Pursuit of HappYness’: ‘Filter Coffee with PAC Man / Woman’. You can contact the author @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the Kyurious people, some info from my side about the YouTube channels which have a massive subscriber base & views:-
The channels with all time high numbers in YouTube:-
5 Minute Craft (joined in 2016) : 60.7M subscribers & 15,737,111,571 views
PewDiePie (joined in 2010) : 101 Million with 23,456,693,573 views
T Series (joined in 2006) – India’s largest music label & movie studio : 112 Million with a whopping 83,308,033,641 views.